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Police: Cabdriver’s killer carjacked vehicle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hours before Victor Ortiz, 46, fatally stabbed a taxi driver with a sword Thursday night, he carjacked the vehicle of an acquaintance who was giving him a ride in the South Valley, Albuquerque police say.

Victor Ortiz, 46. (MDC)

Ortiz’s acquaintance told Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies on Thursday that he had been driving near Coors and Dennis Chavez SW with Ortiz in the passenger seat when Ortiz punched him in the face and burned him with a cigarette, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. He told police Ortiz then pulled out a knife and threatened him until he got out of the car.

The victim fled to a nearby Walmart at Coors and Rio Bravo SW, and Ortiz drove away in his car, according to the complaint. He told deputies where Ortiz lived, but when they went to his Southeast Albuquerque home, neither Ortiz nor the stolen vehicle was there.

Khalil Jabbour, 59. (Courtesy Zeina Jabbour)

A spokeswoman for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said Monday afternoon that she didn’t know whether the vehicle had been found.

On Sunday night, Ortiz, who was already in jail and charged with murder in the death of cabdriver Khalil Jabbour, picked up the new charges of robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault.

It is unclear what time the reported carjacking happened, but Albuquerque Police Department officers say that later that night, around 11:30 p.m., Ortiz called for a Yellow-Checker cab to pick him up at home.

He later told detectives he thought Jabbour, the driver, was part of the “Illuminati” – a supposed secret global society of elites who control the world’s powers – that he believed had been breaking into his home and stealing from him.

So, Ortiz told detectives, he stole Jabbour’s bag and pulled a sword from a sheath and stabbed him in the chest when he tried to get it back. A bystander saw the incident and drove Jabbour, 59, to a hospital, where he died.

Ortiz will be held in the county jail until a hearing in the 2nd Judicial District Court to determine whether he should stay locked up until trial, according to online court documents.